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1'LANAi [ON 

I itter Sanborn Author Mai 





It has been found convenient by librarians to arrange some 
classes of books alphabetically. In Biography, for instance, if 
the books stand on the shelves in the order of the names of the 
persons whose lives they relate, one knows that Adams will be 
at the beginning of the class and Washington at the end and 
Jefferson somewhere near the middle; and one can go to the 
shelf and get the life one wants without having to consult a 
catalog first, which makes a saving, not only of time, but o! 
eyes and patience. Moreover, one will find all the lives of 
Washington standing side by side, which will often not happen 
on any other plan. In Fiction such an arrangement, either by 
authors' names or by titles, is almost a necessity. In Poetry 
and the Drama also it is useful; and, in fact, in every class it is 
better than an arrangement by size, which merely makes the 
shelves look a little more orderly, -or by accession-number, 
which has no advantage at all.f 

But it is also found that the books must have some marks 
on the back to keep them in order. The binders' titles will not 
do, because they often do not contain the word by which the 
book should be arranged; and when they do the arranger 
cannot always see at a glance which of several words is the one 
 to arrange by. Moreover, we want some brief mark peculiar to 
each book, and not belonging to any other copy, by which to 
charge the volume to the borrower. Therefore I letter on the 
lower part of the back of each book: 

1. In one line, the letters or figures that denote its class 
and sub-class. 

•Some preliminary discussions on this subject may be found in " Plans for number- 
ing with especial reference to fiction, a library symposium." — Library journal, 4 : 38-47. 

tThe plea that in science accession order assists study by putting the older works at 
the beginning of each subject and modern works at the end is true only in the rearrange- 
ment of an old library ; in a new library, or in the subsequent history of the old library, 
it would not be valid unless libraries always bought books in the order in which they are 
published and never received gifts of old books. Chronological order, made up as books 
usually come into a library, would be a very mottled attair. 


2. In another line, the initial of the author's name, fol 
lowed by certain figures plained later on); tin's line 
stands for the ai raoR's name. 

3. In another line, the initial of the title (used only when 
e are two works by the same author in the same sub-class). 

4. In the same line, when there is more than one COPY of 
the same work, I put 2 for the second copy, 3 for the third, if 
there is one, and so on. 

Class I I iss, Class, 

and author ;uithor, 
author. ami title. 

and copy. 

Yi Yf Vi 

•DS14 D314- -D3U- 

r rJ 

I ' foe's Robinson 

Novels. Robinson Crusoe, 

Crusoe. 4tli copy. 


Books "n the shelves are kept alphabeted by authors by 
marking them with the initial of the author's family name* 
followed by one or more decimal figures assigned according to a 
table so constructed that the names whose initials are followed 
by some of the first letters of the alphabet, have the first num- 
bers, and those in which the initials are followed by later letters 
have later numbers. 

E. g., Garfield, g231 Gore, g666 

< .'H- . g379 Grand, g751 

Gilman, g487 Grote, g881 

Glover, g566 Guizot, g969 

If the books are arranged in the order of these numbers, of 

eon' will be in alphabetical order. 


1. Find the first lew letters of the author's name in the 
table; the figures following added to the initial are the mark: 

*In the case of authorless bonks anonymous works, periodicals, government publi- 
cations, etc.), the alphabetical order is determined b) the beading adopted for cataloging, 
according to Cutter's rules tor a dictionary catalog. In Biography, when the Decimal 
ination is used, the name of the subject of the lite should be used instead of the 
name ..t the author: in the Expansive Classification, the name ot the subject form 
ot the class-mark, as Gerry's Lite. Eg 379. 

( 3 ) - UBRM« 


E. g., for the name Lounsbury the table gives Loun 889, the mark 
is lS89. Aldrich (Aldr 365) is a365, Terhune (Terh 318) t318. Huxley 
is h986, Macaulay la m117, Spenser s748. 

In printing a catalog, the printer should be cautioned not to use the 
old style figures (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), in which the figure 1 is the same as the 
"small capital" letter i. 

2. If the first letters of the name do not occur in the 
table take the letters next previous in the alphabetical order. 

E. g., there is no Detm in the table; for Detmold, therefore, we take 
the number of Deti which gives d481 ; for Pecksniff the number of Peckh, 
which gives p368; for Mixter the number of Mitt, m685; for Fappen the 
number of Fantu, f218. 

3. If the number found is already in use, annex another 

E. g., if one wishes to insert Herdman between Herder, h541, and 
Hereford, h542, a fourth figure makes Herdman h5414. If, again, there 
is a Harrison, Frederick, h319, Harrison, James, may be numbered with 
a fourth figure, h3193, Harrison, John, h3195, Harrison, Louis, h3197, 
and so on. This can be carried to any extent. 

In making such insertions it is necessary to consider in what part of 
the gap the new name will best go, so as to leave room on one side or the 
other for future insertions. 

Except in very large classes, like Fiction* or Biography, one rarely 
gets to the fifth figure. But bad judgment in choosing the fourth figure 
may hasten the need of adding a fifth. 

Avoid using the number 1 as long as other numbers are vacant, because 
when it is once used nothing can be inserted before it ; one cannot put, for 
instance, anything between 22 and 221. Zero should be used only in 
extreme cases because it might be mistaken for the letter o of a work- 
mark; otherwise 220 would come between 22 and 221. 

4. It is desirable, even in small libraries, to use three 
figures as given in the table in Fiction and Biography (except in 
certain letters such as e, i, o, u, where the table gives but two 
figures). But in other classes, the first two figures of the num- 
ber are usually sufficient, and in very small classes, the first 
figure only need be used. 

5. The figures are to be considered as decimals, and 
arranged on the shelf in the order h2, h21, h211, h2111, h2112, 
h22, h23, h233, h24, h3, and so on. 


That is, all the numl [inning with - come before a number 

beginning with '!, and all the numbers beginning with 21 any begin- 

ning with 22, and all beginning with 221 b with 222; 

just as in a dictionary all the words beginning with before 

nning with ac, and all the come before the acb 

Some persons arc apprehensive thai this decimal 
arrangement will be hard to use, or at least hard to teach to 
stupid assistants and (when the public arc allowed to go tn the 
shelves) to a public unwilling to take the tn »uble t< > comprehend. 
It ma\ be so sometimes; I can only say that I have never had 
any difficulty with any< me, boy or girl, man or w< iman, when the 
arrangement was explained as it is above. But if this is con- 
sidered a seri< ms i ilijccti. in tn the use of these auth ir-marks, the 
difficulty can be entirely avoided by using two figures with the 
initial in all eases, treating them as ordinals, and when two 
names are to be represented by the same combination, so that 
subdivision becomes necessary, starting a new series of ordinals 
either from 1 to 9, or from LI to 99, by putting a point after the 
first two figures, e. g., H21.1, or h21.1 1. The stupidest attend- 
ant could not fail to comprehend the order h34, h34.1, h34.2, 
h34.3, h34.4, and so on. As it would be awkward to use two 

nal points (mil. 2.1, h34.2.2), it would be well to use two 
figures after the decimal point in very large collections, as 
Fiction and Biography, thus, h34, iiM4.11, h34.12, h34.13, etc. 

Of course this ordinal method does not allow 7 infinite inter- 
calation. A time will come when some new name cannot be 
inserted in its proper order, because its number is already 
occupied. But a notation consisting of an initial followed by 
four characters provides places for so many names that this 
misfortune will not occur soon or frequently. And when it 
does occur the approximate alphabetical arrangement that will 
here and there result is very much better than no alphabetic 
order at all. 


6. ( >n the shelves three alphabetical series should be 
made by size, including all books 25 cm. high or less, Q 
between 25 and 30, F over 30. These will be indicated by the 

*For ;i discussion of other methods sec Library notes vol. :i. 


sign that separates the class mark from the author -and -book 
mark, ' for O and smaller sizes, + for Q, || for F. 

In small libraries it is best to make only one series of books under 
each division ; the few books that are too large for the shelves can be turned 
down; very large books can be kept in some separate case. But in a 
library of size, and especially in a library that has many old books, there 
are likely to be so many quartos and folios that provision must be made to 
keep them by themselves, and yet in juxtaposition with the smaller books 
of their class. 

It is well always to mark the books for Q and F with these distinctive 
marks,- but these two sizes may be often mixed advantageouslv in a single 
alphabet on the shelves, especially where there are only one or two folios 
with many quartos, or one or two quartos with many folios. 

The three size-marks are for marking the catalog and the back of the 
title-page; they are not used in lettering the backs of the books; in a 
majority of cases the book's size is sufficiently shown to the attendant who 
puts it up by the fact that a Cj book will not go on an shelf. 

7. In numbering Q and F books a single figure will usu- 
ally be enough, because there will usually be few books of those 
sizes in any class, and therefore fewer marks are needed to dis- 
tinguish them; often the initial alone would be enough in F. 

8. Different books by the same author in the same class 
are distinguished by work -marks consisting of the first letter 
or letters of the catch-title after a thin space. 

E. g., Dickens's Chimes, d.548c; Christmas carol, d548 ch ; Cricket on 
the hearth, d548 cr; David Copperfield, d548 d; Dombey and son, d548 do. 

9. Other eewes or other editions are noted by adding 2 
or 3 or 4, as the case may be, to the work -mark. 

E. g., another edition of Dombey and son, d548 do2. 

10. The special mark for translations, for use in large 
libraries or in large special collections in a small library, is the 
initial of the language, a capital letter added (after a size -mark) 
to the author -mark. 

E. g., Goethe's dramatische Werke 'g599 

dramatic Works -g599 - E 

(Kuvres dramatiques "g599'F 

Faust g599 f 

Faust, in English 'G599 fE 

II. [f there are several translations distinguish them by 
adding the initial of the translator's name to the language 


E | . Faust, 

m tli' 



G599 f 



I li i nays 

I'm i\\ - 1 

Broi iks 

199 i Ea 
g599 i Eb 
g599 i Ebl 
g599 i 'Ebo 
g599 P-Ebr 


Blaze de 


g599 F-Fb 

•' lt;ih. Ill 

• • 


G599 I'lni 

These marks an- long. But it rmi I be remembered thai the need for 
such marks does nut occur at all m a small collection of books, ami verj 
rarely in a large one. Moreover, if any one wants to avoid them alto 
gether, he can do so by giving up tin- exact arrangement of versions, ami 
simply numbering texts and translations in numerical order as they an' 

ved, which is just as well where there is no aeeess to the shelves, and 
almost as well even where there is, until the numlier of editions and trans- 
lations becomes very large, as it would among the classics in a college 
library, or in the case of Shakespeare, Goethe, and Dante, in any large 
general library. 

1l\ In Biography, which is to be arranged by names 
of the subjects of the lives, distinguish different authors by 
adding their initials. 

E. g., Chadwick's Defoe d314 c 

Morley's Defoe i>:'d4 m 

Wilson's Defoe i>:il4 w 

L3. When, in a large collection, the number of editions of 
a single work exceeds or is likely to exceed 9, the different edi- 
tions may be distinguished 1>\ adding the year of publication 
(usually of the first volume, if there are more than one) instead 
of a number 2, 3, or 4. 

E. g., Paradise lost, ed. of 1667 m662p 1667 

reprint of same m662 p 1667.2 

ed. of 1732 -m662 p 1732 
ed. of 1754 m662 p 1754 

Paradise regained 'm662 r 

14. If it is desired to keep a COMMENTARY on an}' work 
immediately after the work add to the work-mark a capital 'Y 
and (if necessary) the initial of the commentator, For diction- 
aries and concordances add Z. 


E. g., Frehse's Worterbuch zu Reuter's sammtlichen werken would 
be R447-Zf. 

The various marks then are : 

Class as Ce 

Size as ',+, || 

Author as d553 

Work as d 

Copy or Edition as 2, 3, 4 

when very many. as 1887 

Translation . . . x as (into English) 'E 

Other copies of English Translation as 'E2/E3 

Translation by another hand as (d being initial of 

translator 's name) 'Ed 
C( immentary or other illustrative work .... as 'Y 

Dictionary as 'Z 

Another . as (p being initial of author of dictionary) 'Zp 


For a fuller explanation, see Cutter's Expansive classification, pt. 1 
pp. 139-160. This includes a way to mark a large collection of Greek and 
Latin classics, such as would be found in a college library, first published 
in the Library journal, 11: 280-289. See, also, the full scheme for mark- 
ing Shakespeare, Dante, Goethe, Moliere, Milton collections, in the Expan- 
sive classification, 7th, class Literature, pp. 49-74, enlarged from Library 
journal, 9: 137-139. 

Libraries which have already used the original two-figure table, and wish 
to expand in certain classes, should use the three-figure Cutter table which 
was made for that purpose. The Cutter-Sanborn table was compiled 
for those who desire a three-figure table which carries the same principle 
into the vowels and S; namely, the use of the initial letter of the author's 
name with three figures, instead of the first two letters of the name with 
two figures, which is a feature of the other Cutter tables. 

This fourth edition of the Explanation is revised by Mrs. Gardner 
M. Jones, formerly Miss Kate E. Sanborn, the compiler of the Cutter- 
Sanborn author table. 


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